Prudish parents demand tourist attraction renames Dick Turpin to Richard

·2-min read
Actor playing Dick Turpin points a gun at the camera
Actor playing Dick Turpin points a gun at the camera

Parents are demanding a York tourist attraction change the name of its new Dick Turpin carriage ride to Richard Turpin... because, they say, the word “Dick” is offensive.

The row erupted after a Dick Turpin carriage ride opened at the York Dungeon to tell the story of the highwayman’s exploits.

The attraction, owned by leisure giant Merlin Entertainments, said it had received “a number of requests for the character to be renamed to Richard due to the apparent rude nature of his nickname”.

Turpin was infamous throughout 18th century Britain for his highway robbery and was executed in York in 1739 for horse theft.

As part of the new exhibition, visitors will sit in a darkened carriage listening to scary stories about hold-ups before being ordered by a virtual Turpin to “stand and deliver”.

The York Dungeon said that parents have asked for the Dick character to be renamed Richard to avoid children being exposed to a rude word.

Street entrance to The York Dungeon - D Hale-Sutton/Alamy Stock Photo
Street entrance to The York Dungeon - D Hale-Sutton/Alamy Stock Photo

However, Mark Mattinson, The York Dungeon’s general manager, said: “Our Dick’s Back carriage ride is the grand finale of our York Dungeon tour, and thousands of guests have already enjoyed this thrilling end to their visit.

“We were shocked to receive complaints asking to change his name but despite any potentially rude connotations, we’re here to say that Dick is here to stay.”

Howard Johnson, a co-owner of the Eden Camp Modern History Museum, a rival Yorkshire attraction, said: “A vote for common sense. Ignore these woke idiots.”

Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, said: “I don’t know who the biggest morons are: the people who have complained or the people who might be thinking of doing something on the back of the complaints. It is a photo finish which is the most idiotic.

“It is the most ludicrous thing I have heard in my life. They should tell people who complain to get a life.

“Thank God, the museum are saying they are not changing it. Let us hope this is the start of a fight back for common sense.”

A spokesman for The York Dungeon said: “We have had a few complaints about it, which is silly. His name is Dick Turpin.”